I have been working on the new website for my Media Center for about three weeks now. It’s taking a while simply because I find it so difficult to stare at a computer screen for more than a couple of hours at a time. And there’s a lot to think about since I am starting from scratch on this project.
I am really close to being done, with only three sections/pages saying “Coming soon!,” and one of those legitimately can’t be updated yet because I still have a couple of battles to fight.
Part of the way through the day today, I looked at my schedule for tomorrow and realized that I am scheduled to teach the first 45 minutes of three classes for one teacher and give the students in another three classes at the same times a list of web resources for a research project on biomedical careers.
As I am only one Media Specialist, I can only be in one place at one time. I freaked for a minute while I was trying to figure out a way around this problem. That’s when I realized that something like a list of web resources – scholarly, credible places for students to start their research – is something that doesn’t necessarily require that I be present with the students.
And then I realized that students really need a copy of those web resources that they can get access to if they need it again later.
And I realized that, as a Media Specialist leading my school into learning and developing 21st century skills, I needed to find a way to do all of this digitally.
And then I remembered that even the most minor of collaborative efforts with teachers, such as a list of web resources, needs to be documented, for both me and the teacher.
The light bulb went off.
What I ended up creating is a blog page on my Media Center website called “Classes.” I was already using the blog function for news and happenings. On this new page, I can post class assignments by the teacher, title of assignment, and date it was assigned. The text of the blog, in the case of tomorrow’s assignment, is a list of the links I’m offering to help them get started. In other cases, it may be something different.
Each post can be categorized by the teacher, subject, and nature of the help I’m offering. Students can access this at any time, so if a student needs to make up the assignment, they don’t need to come see me as well as their classroom teacher. Best of all since this is by far the type of collaboration I do most often, I do not have to be present in order for it to help the students. I can be present, but it frees up that time, if necessary, for work in other areas.
I think that’s really important when your Media Center is a one-woman show. You have to find ways to make things work without you being present at all times. As one person, you can only do so much. But you can find ways to extend your reach using other resources.